How Grumpy Cat Changed My Life
After driving over three hours to take a photo with a frowny-faced feline, a writer ponders the cat-celebrity phenomenon, and all its maddening memes and gif-filled gloriousness.
Photo by Tabitha Blankenbiller
On a fleece-lined bed in an Arizona bookstore, a four-pound cat had fallen asleep. She was flanked by her manager, her owner and a graying bodyguard, who protected the dozing kitten from the adoring mob that had come to get a look at her. Behind me, the line of cat-fanciers grew restless, bordering on hysterical.
“I can’t see her grumpy li’l face!” one woman complained.
Grumpy Cat was on book tour, though she hadn’t written a book, and her name isn’t even Grumpy Cat. She is Tardar Sauce, a year-old kitten with feline dwarfism, a genetic defect that scrunched her features into a face too small to hold a smile. A tiny kitten with an old man’s scowl, she has a face made for YouTube, and a video of her stubborn resistance to her owner’s tickles has garnered more than sixteen million views since it was first posted in September 2012. A thousand fans showed up at the Changing Hands Bookstore in Tempe, hoping to be one of the two hundred chosen to meet the cat and…